June 4, 2003

Bielinski Builders recognized for $69,000 contribution

Hamilton High School principal David Furrer announced to School Board members that Bielinski Builders will donate $69,000 to support the school’s carpentry program. In recognizing the Waukesha-based building company, Furrer noted that three Bielinski representatives served on a school advisory committee since 2001 that looked into ways to support student learning through real world experiences.

The company approved a proposal to fund a full-time teacher and provide funding for other construction class expenses. Furrer said Bielinski Chief Executive Officer Bob Brownell and Chief Operations Officer Paul Bielinski helped establish a partnership with the Southeastern Wisconsin Carpentry Joint Apprenticeship and Training Center. Both individuals were recognized and provided certificates of appreciation from the School Board.

Superintendent Kathleen Cooke told Brownell and Bielinski that because of serious budget cuts, “if not for your generosity, we would not be having a carpentry program next year.”

She noted that the gift to the high school was only one of many contributions the company has made in the community,

In accepting the appreciation award, Brownell said that he has enjoyed working with Furrer and Cooke.

“Our contribution is a way to give back to the community and provides an avenue to allow some kids to work in the trades,” Brownell said. “It is a mutually beneficial relationship between Bielinski and the schools.”

Annual meeting date changed

The state’s delay in finalizing its budget is causing the district to reschedule its Annual Budget Hearing and Annual Meeting. The events were slated to occur June 16, but administrators recommended delaying the meeting until July 21 because local school district budgets are dependent on work of the state Legislature and Governor’s Office.

School Board members could have gone ahead with projected figures that would have to readjusted later, but chose to reschedule to a later date when the budget numbers were more certain. At the Annual Meeting, district residents vote on the local levy.

Strategic Plan approved

School Board members approved a new Strategic Plan that will:

  • foster learning environments that nurture social and emotional development to ensure maximum achievement for each child;
  • ensure staff development will improve students learning;
  • use results of student assessments and other performance-related data to ensure continuous progress for each child; and
  • enhance our communication plan to promote understanding, support and involvement of families, the community and staff in fulfilling our mission.

School Board Member Deborah Briggs said she was impressed with the work of the Strategic Planning Team.

“This is so comprehensive and thorough, it moves us way beyond where we are now,” Briggs said. “It was exciting to read it all because it was all mapped out.”

School Board Member Dawn VanAacken said the plan will help staff members know what to expect.

With School Board approval, the next step is to establish an implementation team that will finetune the timelines and provide guidelines for those who will work in plan activities.

Supervision-evaluation process highlighted

Educational Services and Human Resources Assistant Superintendent Dean Schultz updated School Board members on the supervision-evaluation process. A committee met in May to review goal-setting and staff feedback on how the process worked this year. Schultz reported the following from the committee:

  • Performance expectations were adjusted to reflect Wisconsin’s teacher standards.
  • Goal-setting was recognized for its importance outside of the supervision process and will not be required as part of supervision-evaluation.
  • The importance of teacher-student created documention will be determined when the committee meets again on June 16 when it looks at issues such as consistency, required gathering of mateirlas and portfolio development.

Seniors & Students Program highlighted

The district’s senior citizen volunteer program — Seniors & Students — is a quiet program that operates successfully in the district, according to Public Information and Volunteer Program Coordinator Denise Dorn Lindberg. Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) staff member Beth McFadzen and Lindberg updated the School Board on the program.

Since its inception five years ago, Seniors & Students volunteers have contributed more than 13,000 hours of service in the district. Using a figure provided by a national volunteer organization, this equates to $49,000 worth of services for children in the distrist.

The program is a cooperative between the district and RSVP of Waukesha County which began in 1998 with tutors who were trained in Early Reading Empowerment strategies to provide individual help for students. Lindberg said the program expanded — in number of volunteers and service hours provided, and in the roles that the volunteers play. Highlights of volunteer activity includes:

  • Two dozen volunteers work one-on-one or in small groups tutoring children.
  • 130 senior citizens write regularly to 144 elementary school children as part of the Age-to-Age Pen Pal Program.
  • For the second year in a row, senior volunteers participated in the Intergenerational Choir where 34 adults joined Maple Avenue students in performing a concert. Many adults were Seniors & Students volunteers.
  • At the high school, volunteers who received special training from the Writing and Technology Support teacher help students in the computer lab.
  • In June, one of the volunteers is providing a free computer class for senior citizens in an effort to recruit more volunteers. The class will be taught at Hamilton High School with volunteer assistance from high school students

Staff and students recognized

Several staff members and students were recognized for outstanding achievement.

Marcy Elementary School first grade teacher Dan Westphal was honored for his selection as aa 2003 Kohl Teacher Fellowship recipient. The Kohl Teacher Fellowship recognizes teachers who have a superior ability to motivate people, inspire a love of learning and provide leadership and service within and outside the classroom.

Marcy Principal Donald Behrens said, “One of the marks of outstanding teachers is that they make the whole school better by their presence. That certainly is the case with Dan.”

Templeton Family and Consumer Education Teacher Fran Birschbach and three of her students were recognized for their success in the Young Entrepreneur’s National Conference this spring. Students Sarah Buck, Taylor Roehr and Olivia Weis started the Bulldog Catering Company and took first place at the conference.

Hamilton Associate Principal Joel Been was thanked for outstanding performance during the past year. Furrer noted Been’s ability to step in during the interim after the former associate principal was offered a position last September.

Personnel matters approved

In personnel matters, the School Board:

  • approved lay-off notices to be sent to district social worker Murrene Payton and Woodside Early Reading Empowerment teacher Bridget Matthiesen. Loss of state aid required staff reductions. While the actual budget cut was to eliminate the Human Relations-Chapter 220 position, the lay-off notice will be sent to Payton because she has the least seniority among social workers.
  • approved leaves of absence for Marcy fifth grade teacher Karen Pertzborn and Templeton sixth grade teacher Tina Bergemann; and
  • appointed Tammy Pintor as a Hamilton associate kitchen employee.